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PMA challenges industry to grow a healthier world

The Produce Marketing Association will hold an executive workshop on April 19 to mobilize the global produce and floral industries in support of the UN International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The workshop will feature leaders from government and non-profit networks who will share tangible outputs from the innovative programs they lead to drive access, availability and consumption of fresh produce across the world.  Attendees of this event (which is open to the public) will also be the first to hear about the PMA Growing a Healthier World Challenge, which will be announced by PMA CEO Cathy Burns.   

PMA first announced their support of the UN’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables at the virtual Fresh Summit in the Fall of 2020. The initiative recognizes the role that the agriculture sector plays in providing healthy, affordable food for a growing world. IYFV is an opportunity to raise awareness of the role the produce industry plays in human nutrition, health, food security and more.  

"Recognizing the interconnectedness of our industry, the IYFV effort highlights the imperative that in order to drive consumption, we must also consider the implications of, and for production, labor, technology, sustainability, food safety, policy, trade, and more," PMA said in a statement.

PMA’s executive workshop on April 19 will be hosted by PMA’s Chief Science Officer Max Teplitski and will feature six organizations leading impactful programs that support the IYFV priorities and PMA’s vision of growing a healthier world.   

Each year should be a year of fruits and vegetables, but in 2021 it has a special significance.  As we come out of the global pandemic, we are at a nexus of conversations about health, sustainability and social justice” said Teplitski. “Our industry is not just serving the healthiest products on any table, we are also providing solutions to some of the greatest barriers to increasing access to these healthy, sustainably produced fruits and vegetables. I’m honored to have many of these leaders in one place at the coming workshop, not only to celebrate the work they do to improve access and availability, reduce waste and boost consumption – but also to inspire all of our great leaders to use these examples to create new initiatives, to share their stories and participate in the Growing a Healthier World Challenge.”  

The global event will be provided with live language translation in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and will take place on April 19 from 10 am to noon Eastern time.  The workshop will feature leaders Michel Nischan, co-founder/chairman, Wholesome Wave (U.S.); Alejandra Domper, executive secretary, 5 al Día (Chile); Mark Nicolson, policy director, Fair Food Network (U.S.); Lisa Helfman, founder and board chair, Brighter Bites (U.S.); Floria Paris, director general, Fundación 5xDia, A.C. (México); and Mallory Koenings, national program leader, National Institute of Food & Agriculture, USDA (U.S.).   

Registration is free of charge to all participants and open now.  Attendees will also hear from Burns as she announces the PMA Growing a Healthier World Challenge.  The Challenge, which focuses on identifying and recognizing outstanding efforts, will invite industry members to learn from and build on the examples of the programs highlighted in the session, and to share their stories with PMA, with their partners, and on social media by using #GrowingAHealthierWorld.  All participants of the challenge will be eligible for the PMA Humanitarian of Year Award to be presented at Fresh Summit in October 2021 in New Orleans. 

To learn more about PMA’s efforts to support the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, and to access resources to help your company participate in the IYFV, see the PMA International Year of Fruits and Vegetable page.  

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